The Miami Heat's mantra heading into game five versus San Antonio was "Why not us?" But by the time the horn mercifully sounded on their third straight series-ending blowout loss, all they could say was, "Oh, that's why." The Heat's 24-month reign as champions of the basketball world came crashing to the ground after their 104-87 defeat Sunday night.
This one wasn't a decision; it was a knockout. The better team won, and it was clear as day for the past week.
The Spurs basketball robot was just too much for the Heat. Resistance was futile -- these guys used last year's crushing finals loss as revenge fuel and came into this series looking for blood. Kawhi Leonard, finals MVP, turned into Scottie Pippen before our very eyes in the last three games, while Dwyane Wade turned into the shitty kid who always cries and who your coach stuck in right field in tee ball. Everything was wrong; nothing was right.
LeBron James told his team "follow me" during his pregame speech and then went out and led the Heat to a 22-6 lead early that gave Heat fans slim hope. But from there it all went downhill. LeBron had 17 points in the first quarter, then just 14 the rest of the way, and got little help from his teammates.
Speaking of teammates:
Hey LeBron, who's been the most disappointing player for the Heat during the Finals? pic.twitter.com/n7Tboy2tea
— Larry Brown (@LBSports) June 16, 2014
Holy SHIT, WHAT THE HELL, Dwyane? Wade capped off a nightmare of a series with another craptastic-this-can't-be-life 11-point effort, and it was a struggle to even get those 11. At one point Wade was erased at the rim by Splitter and laid lifeless on the floor. That sentence happened. What is life.
Looking at Wade's offensive numbers is bad enough, but it's ten times worse on defense. Around the point when you realized this was the Dwyane Wade you were going to get in this series was the time you realized nothing else mattered -- the Heat was done. It was hard to watch arguably the greatest athlete in the history of South Florida sports in this series. He wasn't the player Heat fans were used to seeing on the court.
Manu Ginobili takes off. http://t.co/BemR2Q3uos
— Sporting News NBA (@sn_nba) June 16, 2014
This was the moment you knew Miami Dolphins training camp was in your future. When Manu Ginobli rises up and sticks it in your face, that's as good a sign as any that you're toast. The dunk sparked the Spurs on a huge run, and they never looked back.
So that concludes a fourth straight season that ended with your Miami Heat in the NBA Finals. That's not too shabby. The Heat has given you sports entertainment you didn't even know existed before it all began in the summer of 2010, and for that we must be thankful. Chances are it's not over. The Heat is still by far the best team in the Eastern Conference, if only with the Big Three on the roster. It's mid-June, and you're reading about a game your basketball team played for the fourth straight season, and that's pretty remarkable. I'm grateful. I hope you are too.
Giant fun for four straight years. Hugely grateful for it. Biggest sports blessing in South Florida history.
— Dan Le Batard Show (@LeBatardShow) June 16, 2014
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 16, 2014
Mo Wins, Mo RINGS.
— ESPN (@espn) June 16, 2014
let's take a moment and think about what was taken from us https://t.co/5Mm8Fb0jfr
— Lana Berry (@Lana) June 16, 2014
— Holly MacKenzie (@stackmack) June 16, 2014
— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) June 16, 2014
Good night moon
Good night Wade
Good night LeBron
Good night Bosh
Good night Mario
Good night Spo
Good night Riley
— netw3rk (@netw3rk) June 16, 2014
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— Amin Elhassan (@AminESPN) June 16, 2014
Class. Sportsmanship. Kudos.
— CBSSports.com (@CBSSports) June 16, 2014